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Ranjit Satyanath

"IT partners who know exactly what the customer wants are rare but definitely available"

Ranjit Satyanath
CIO
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Ranjit has been an IT practitioner since the last 2 decades. Over the last few years application of Technology in Retail has been his area of interest.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Hiring and Retaining high performing team members:
The truth of the matter is that a candidate takes 2-3 years on job training before realizing their full potential. It is by this time that they start seeking alternate employment options. So  companies who employ fresh engineering talent at lower costs often have to employ lots of them for the law of averages to work in their favor.
IT Partners who deliver what they promise:
I have often come across IT companies who at the time of the pitch promise the moon with ribbons around it. I suspect that they know or at best hope that the customer’s requirements will be sufficiently fuzzy that timelines and costs will be easily stretched. Alternatively by the time the customer discovers what they have got into, they would have sold the project so much to their
own management or have invested so much of their own bandwidth into it that they want to  salvage it at any cost. IT partners who know exactly what the customer wants are rare but definitely available.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Calculating ROI on Social Media:
While companies splurge on engaging with the customers on Social Media sites, the CFO’s obvious question i.e. “How is this contributing to the top line or bottom line” often elicit raised eyebrows. While there are many tools which claim to do all kinds of analysis with the social media data, I suspect very few have actually delivered on this promise.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Mobility: Mobility has already transformed the enterprise. From e-mail and collaboration apps to mobile cash points, tablet enabled sales assistants and mobile inventory systems. Retail have embraced mobility like so many other domains. I see this trend growing over the next three years with Moore’s law coming into play with respect to computing cycles.
Business Intelligence: BI has and will always be one of the most potent weapons in the retailers arsenal. The capability to understand their customers and supply chain will distinguish successful retailers from others. I see retailers increasing their investment on BI along with other allied IT environments such as campaign management and CRM.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

Managing Technology to Selling Solutions Internally:

Earlier the CIO’s role was that of a technology advisor to the management team and keeping the “lights on”. CIOs would advise and take decisions such as the hardware to procure and data security among other things. Now in addition the earlier profile a CIO has to have sufficient domain competence to be able to identify solutions that will give the organization a business
advantage. To quote a retail example.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

I believe that with all the technology at one’s disposal, there is nothing better than the good old fashioned Human Element in creating a successful IT organization. CIOs could create productive teams with clear and transparent policies and communication. All managers need to be accessible to their team members and should be seen to be fair in their dealings. CIOs need to create a co-operative spirit while stoking the competitive spirit within each member. Feedback needs to be given constantly and not just during the appraisal cycles.